Scorpions – In Trance (Review)

Original cover image – with boob!

In Trance was the Scorpions’ third album, their first of many with producer Dieter Dierks and their first proper hard rocker. But we’re still back in the Uli Roth years here so there’s a strange mix of styles and moods. There are real driving, hard-hitters like Dark Lady and Top Of The Bill but there are also many songs like Life’s Like A River and Living And Dying that are mystical, almost-psychedelic and loaded with melancholy. Two different kinds of heavy, basically. Scorpions’ circa 1975 show off a complex mix of styles and influences: Uli Roth’s post-Hendrix, pre-Malmsteen guitar mastery; the mellow wistfulness of UFO’s Phenomenon; the epic scope, bludgeon and layered vocal harmonies of Uriah Heep and Queen and a distinctly European/power metal vibe. The combination of Rudolf Schenker’s granite riffs and Uli Roth’s scorching leads create real sparks and edge that never appeared in other incarnations of the band. There’s so just so much to love here and tracks like the bombastic pomp-rocker In Trance and the bonkers cyber-metaller Robot Man just never get old. The Scorpions would score big later with a simpler, streamlined metal style so this strange and formative early effort isn’t in the hallmark Scorps style but it is one of their best and the album, and era, I return to the most. By a long way. And that’s why it’s my top pick from this band’s impressive discography.

My copy – paired with the also-incredible Virgin Killer

37 thoughts on “Scorpions – In Trance (Review)”

  1. I am taking my brother to see them and Megadeth in September.
    It shouĺd be a wicked concert.

    Perhaps if I hold a sign proclaiming “HMO wants you to play Robot Man”.
    I am assuming they would have no choice but to play it or face the wrath.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I may not be able to handle too much HMO awesomeness without proper supervision.
        I fear I would start out like a kid in a candystore and end up like a combination of Brian Wilson and Syd Barrett.
        I will proceed with caution.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. If by interesting, you mean sweeeeeeet and wicked awesome (in my best Boston accent), then yes, interesting.

        Also the sign. I can only assume holding the sign with you name on it instantly puts us in the front row, and into the backstage area after.

        Liked by 1 person

    cool stuff…
    Ve are Ze Scorpions!
    You know what I only really started with these guys from Animal Magnetism and upward….
    I do recall seeing Tokyo Tapes on vinyl before even Blackout came out and was psyched out that a dude could twist his body like a pretzel while playing a Flying V!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The last studio Scorps I bought was Face The Heat…oh wait Live Bites…up to that point I had purchased everything from Animal Magnetism on…
        I was pretty disappointed in Savage Amusement actually as Tbone was building up his CD Empire and I quickly tossed it his way to add to his pile! HAHAHA….
        I should revisit it and review it …
        Crazy World i thought outside the whistle tune was pretty good….
        Blackout is my go to…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I want that fussed about Savage Amusement either. Need to revisit that one and Crazy World too. Not been that fussed about them since. Unbreakable had some good songs. Saw them live then and they were shit hot.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yeah they always delivered live…
        First band I ever seen do that human pyramid thingy…
        Jabs is so underrated as everyone talks about Roth and Schenker…
        Jabs playing on Blackout and LAFS is wickedly good…
        Special mention must be made to Hit Between The Eyes….Jabs is friggin good on that one as well…

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Jabs is definitely underrated. Not a patch on Roth and Schenker though. Those guys are originals… Star players. Jabs is more a team player guy which is why he probably gets overlooked. Is a tasty player though no doubt. Was really impressed with him live. Totally delivers.


  3. Yas! Scorpions! I don’t know much, but, thanks to one of your minions, I am familiar with Robot Man (though Tokyo Tapes is extended a wee bit, eh?)

    I think I need to check this one out, though. The HMO Hall of Fame, eh? Do they get presented with a gold plaque?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tokyo Tapes is a wee bit too long aye. I like it all but… not in one sitting! I think I prefer the studio Robot Man too. Hmm…

      They don’t get a plaque. They just get the career-capping achievement of being inducted and they get to be pathetically grateful forever.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. ‘bonkers cyber-metaller’ – I was thinking about that with a couple tunes recently (Weezer’s Greatest Man That Ever Lived & Talking Heads’ Psycho Killer), in theory the bonkers tunes should wear thin, but like you said, the good ones never get old!
    I’m intrigued by the HMO Hall – how many albums have been inducted so far?

    Liked by 1 person

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